Energy - Distributed Renewable Energy
Over the past decade, improvements in technology and increasing consumer demand for alternative energy solutions have made renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power the fastest growing sources of electricity in the nation. Desire for reducing dependency on oil and cutting energy bills has also prompted tremendous interest in small-scale, "distributed" renewable energy systems.
Widespread deployment of small, distributed energy systems would decrease our reliance on polluting centralized power plants, which avoids continued dependence on fossil fuels and the new construction of expensive and environmentally questionable nuclear power plants.
However, multiple bureaucratic obstacles often stand in the way of full development and utilization of these distributed power networks. Local permitting requirements can be expensive and vary greatly from one municipality to another. Review processes can be complex and lengthy. Local planners and building inspectors often lack the knowledge or experience to certify a system's safety or reliability. At the regional and national level, established power companies and their stakeholders can be protective of the status quo.
Local municipalities can be part of the solution, engaging in practices to expedite planning and approval of distributed renewable energy systems.
The Clean Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise.